Mingzhu TAI
Prof. Mingzhu TAI
Assistant Professor

3917 1676

KK 1115

Academic & Professional Qualification
  • Ph.D. in Business Economics, Harvard University, 2017
  • Master in Finance, Tsinghua University, 2011
  • Visiting Scholar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2010
  • Bachelor in Finance, Tsinghua University, 2009

Mingzhu TAI joined HKU after receiving her Ph.D in Business Economics from Harvard University in 2017. Before that she received her Master and Bachelor degrees in Finance from Tsinghua University.

Mingzhu’s research interests mainly include consumer and household finance, financial intermediation and general corporate finance. She is currently working to understand the relationship between banks, real estate markets, financial regulations, and credit activities by consumers and businesses.

  • 2018                 Corporate Finance, University of Hong Kong
                              Course instructor
  • Spring, 2014   Psychology and Economics, Harvard University
                              Head teaching fellow for Professors David Laibson and Tomasz Strzalecki
Research Interest
  • Corporate Finance
  • Household Finance
  • Financial Intermediation
  • Behavioral Finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Law and Finance
Selected Publications
  • How Did Depositors Respond to COVID-19?”, 2021. with Ross Levine, Chen Lin, and Wensi Xie,  Review of Financial Studies. 34(11), 5438-5473.
  • “Paying for Beta: Embedded Leverage and Asset Management Fees”, 2022. with Steffen Hitzemann and Stanislav Sokolinski, Journal of Financial Economics. 145(1), 105-128.
  • “Lending Next to the Courthouse: Exposure to Adverse Events and Mortgage Lending Decisions”, 2023. with Da Huo, Bo Sun, and Yuhai Xuan, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. Forthcoming.
  • “Stress Testing Banks’ Digital Capabilities: Evidence From the COVID-19 Pandemic”, 2023. with Alan Kwan, Chen Lin, and Vesa Pursiainen, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. Forthcoming.
  • “Credit Environment and Small Business Dynamics: Evidence from Establishment-Level Data”, 2023. with Chen Lin and Wensi Xie, The Review of Corporate Finance Studies. Forthcoming.
  • “Mentally Spent: Credit Conditions and Mental Health”, 2023. with Qing Hu, Ross Levine, and Chen Lin. Management Science. Accepted.
Awards and Honours

Research Grants and Awards:

  • 2023                    General Research Fund, Hong Kong (HKD400,000)
  • 2022                    General Research Fund, Hong Kong (HKD700,000)
  • 2020                    General Research Fund, Hong Kong (HKD700,000)
  • 2018                    Early Career Scheme, Hong Kong(HKD500,000)
  • 2017                    Seed funding for basic research, University of Hong Kong (HKD150,000)
  • 2015                    Hirtle Callaghan Grant
  • 2012                    Cheung Yan Family Fund Grant
  • 2011-2017          Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Fellowship, Harvard University

Teaching Rewards:

  • 2022                    Faculty UG Teaching Reward (HKD10,000)
  • 2021                    Faculty UG Teaching Reward (HKD15,000)
  • 2020                    Faculty UG Teaching Reward (HKD30,000)
  • 2019                    Faculty UG Teaching Reward (HKD15,000)
  • 2018                    Faculty UG Teaching Reward (HKD10,000)
Recent Publications
Paying for Beta: Leverage Demand and Asset Management Fees

We examine how investor demand for leverage shapes asset management fees. We show that in the sample of U.S. equity mutual funds: (1) fees increase in fund market beta precisely for beta larger than one; (2) this relation becomes stronger and high-beta funds experience larger inflows when leverage constraints tighten; and (3) low net alphas are especially common among high-beta funds. These results are consistent with a model in which asset managers compete for leverage-constrained investors with heterogeneous risk aversion. The asymmetric relation between betas and fees also extends to the HML and SMB factors.

Future Anxiety – How COVID-19 Led People to Save More Money

Take the recent study by Chen Lin and Mingzhu Tai from the HKU Business School, conducted with collaborators from the University of California, Berkeley and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Their paper addressed a fundamental worry for almost everyone during the pandemic: Money. Specifically, they examined how people in the U.S. saved money in response to COVID-19.